I wanted to write something about the new year for my first blog post of 2011, but all I can think about is my hair, and I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m having a bad hair life. I know, most people just have the occasional bad hair day, but I seem to find that I have occasional GOOD hair days among the nearly constant bad hair days, and yes, I know that there are those with no hair who would love to have these problems. This thought stream got me to wondering how I ended up having a bad hair life.
As far back as I can remember, my hair has been the focus of conversation. I recall relatives commenting on the thickness of my hair when I was quite young. My mother gave me a home perm a few times a year. I slept in curlers for a good part of my childhood, and I can vividly recall spending time under a home hair dryer before blow dryers were widely available. My mother used to clean a beauty salon in town in exchange for getting her hair done weekly and I went with her many times. The owner very kindly allowed me to try on the wigs displayed in the window. What fun that was! My favorite was a very long platinum blonde wig. Which is ironic because if I stopped coloring my hair now it would be about the same color except it’d be called gray. Of course, my hair isn’t long either. But I digress. I loved my first blow-dryer, the “maxi”. I remember the ad in a teen magazine for it that I saw: 2 pictures of the same model, one with her hair a wet wild mess, the second with her hair beautifully styled with the caption “8:00 wet & wild, 8:07 dry & styled!” Somehow, no matter how hard I tried I never quite achieved that whole 7 minute dry & styled thing. Dry, yes, but not in 7 minutes, and as for styled? Well, thankfully they also had curling irons on the market at the same time because I needed one of them along with lots of hairspray. I even let my mother talk me into a “pixie” cut one year. Well, at least I blended in with my brothers--except of course for the girl’s clothes! Note to self: a pixie cut does not look like such if your hair is not stick straight and thin. Thick, wavy, coarse hair is not a good thing with a super short cut. At least I wasn’t getting home perms any more by that time. Next came the “pageboy” cut. That actually didn’t look that bad but oh boy was it a lot of work to get it to look right. It was at this stage that having “Farrah” hair was the rage. Thank the Lord that I was old enough to realize that I was not ever going to have that hair!
Once I became a young adult, I took to getting perms again, only this time I went to a salon. I loved the freedom of wash ‘n’ go hair that a perm gave me, but my hair grows very fast so it was really only easy for about 4 weeks or so. Then I was back to the whole hair dryer/curling iron routine every morning. I continued fluctuating between a non-permed pageboy and permed layered freedom for a few years, until my second child came along. When she was about 9 months old I marched into a salon and asked the girl to give me a very short cut. She questioned me a lot before she took the scissors to my hair, but she finally obliged. At least now it was quicker to style, but until that point I hadn’t realized how much gray was mixed into the brown. A new chapter was about to begin. Hair dye.
It was an incident at church that precipitated my enslavement to the color bottle. I was sitting in the pew after the service with my baby in my arms and my preschooler next to me waiting for my husband, who had sung with the choir, when the older woman who had been sitting in front of me turned and said, “Your grandchildren are very well behaved.” Need I explain further? Since then I have done everything from keeping my natural color going to being blonde. One thing I haven’t done is stop coloring. For some reason, it is more socially acceptable to walk around with a bad dye job and/or white roots than it is to be gray. About a year ago I mentioned to a few friends that I was tired of coloring my hair and wondered if I should just go ahead and go gray? Shock and dismay is the only way I can describe the reactions I got.
So, I shall continue fighting with my hair, blowing, coating, and spraying it into submission daily. Welcome to my bad hair life, and happy New Year. Have a great 2011!